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Peace Handicrafts Chea

Artisan Organization: Peace Handicrafts

Country: Cambodia

Ridiculed by her classmates for her inability to hear or speak, Chea Saron left primary school after just a few months, and was 18 before she learned to read, write, and speak sign language.

Having grown up on the outskirts of Phnom Penh where her family earned a living weaving doormats out of scrap fabric salvaged from garment factories, Chea went on to pursue formal training in sewing.

By 24 she was working as a full-fledged artisan with Peace Handicrafts, whose award-winning products are made from local hand-woven silks and recycled materials. Established in 2002, Peace Handicrafts provides training and employment opportunities to landmine victims, disabled persons, and the deaf.